When war broke out between Britain and the United States in 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. British naval aggression made it clear that the ocean would be the war's primary battlefield—but America's navy, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British fleet of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews managed to turn the tide of the war, besting the haughty skippers of the mighty Royal Navy and cementing America's newly won independence. In 1812: The Navy's War, award-winning naval historian George C. Daughan draws on a wealth of archival research to tell the amazing story of this tiny, battletested team of Americans and their improbable yet pivotal victories. Daughan thrillingly details the pitched naval battles that shaped the war, and shows how these clashes proved the navy's vital role in preserving the nation's interests and independence. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy's War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America's future.